Belper explosives probe sees houses evacuated and streets closed off | UK | News

Hundreds of people have been evacuated from their homes after “suspicious items” were allegedly found at a man’s address. A 100-metre cordon is in place around the property and affected residents will be able to attend a rest centre which opens at 6.15pm.

The incident started at around 6pm last night when police were called to an address following reports of concern for a man’s safety.

They searched the home in Belper, Derbyshire, and found what Derbyshire Police is describing as “a number of suspicious items”.

A man has been arrested on suspicion of explosives offences.

Following advice from Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) team, a cordon was put in place to cover 100 metres around the home in Acorn Way.

As a result of the cordon Acorn Drive is closed at its junction with Mill Street and Swinney Lane is closed  between its junction with Mill Street and just after the junction with Swinney Bank.

A Derbyshire Police spokesperson said that at this time it isn’t known how the evacuation and road closures will be in place and added that they will update their social media channels as soon as further information is available.

Belper was originally a centre for the nail-making industry since Medieval times.

It then expanded during the early Industrial Revolution with the establishment of several mills making it one of the country’s first mill towns.

Belper remained a textile and hosiery centre into the 20th century.

The prosperity of the town led to the development of companies in other industries like solid-fuel central heating and putty for iron-framed windows.

Back in 2014 it won the High Street of the Year award in the Market Town category, as well as winning the overall award.

The judges said: “Belper is blessed with a wonderful history as a World Heritage Site but has much to offer as a thriving market town as well.

“The judges felt that this outstanding application demonstrates how much more can be done to transform an outwardly successful town centre into a go-to destination for locals and visitors alike.”

It won against towns and high streets such as Brighton and Colwyn Bay.

Four years ago, in 2019, it won an award in the Champion High Street category.

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